1. Scripture. James describes the care of orphans as being “pure and faultless religion.” The prophet Jeremiah laments that there are men among God’s people whose evil has no end. Their evil deeds are the sin of omission. They DO NOT plead the case of the fatherless to win it. “Should I not punish them for this?” he asks. The minor and major prophets declare that the Father hears the cry of the orphan, and the church, who has His heart, can no longer ignore that cry.
2. Missions. Our mandate as the church is to “go and make disciples.” If we were really serious about making disciples, we would start with the people group most ready to receive the gospel. Orphans are the #1 people group on the planet most ready to receive the gospel. Their cry is to be saved, cared for and loved by the kind of compassion that only the Savior brings. We must start seeing orphans as 143 million opportunities to make disciples for Jesus Christ. And let’s make sure these disciples have food, clothing, education and medical care. We are not doing our job if we don’t.
3. Terrorism. Terrorism grows out of poverty and in response to oppression. If the church were proactive and on the healing side of children’s lives in the poorest of places around the world, we would prevent the argument of terrorism from taking root in a potential recruits heart. The modern state has a military response to terrorism. The church is called to use other weapons – that of compassion and love. Caring for orphans is one of the best ways to proactively fight terrorism. Let’s lift the burden from the backs of these children, and offer a better way to live. If we don’t do this, someone else will offer the promise of life, and it may involve a gun.
4. Accountability. One day the church will be called to account for how we use our resources. When there are 143 million abandoned and orphaned children in the world and the church chooses NOT to respond, we stand exposed before a Holy God who demands justice. How is it even possible for the church – the redemptive community on the planet, called by God to be His hands and feet – and 143 million abandoned, orphaned children, without love or basic care, to exist on the same planet? We are without excuse.
5. Awakening. I see people waking up to the issues of justice and being on the healing side of problems in our one and only world. We need to see this world as a gift from a loving and holy God who desires the end to the abuse and abandonment of His children. We are created with the dream of beauty, wholeness, and justice, given us by God. When the church decides to act in harmony with God’s intentions, we find ourselves waking up to be the church God has designed us to be.
[HT: Mike Vinson]